The Best Cities for Tech Entrepreneurs 2019 According To Movinga

Relocation experts Movinga have released a study revealing the best cities for entrepreneurs moving abroad to start a business. Having launched a series of studies looking into the best locations for opportunity, Movinga has so far used data to determine the best cities to find both a job and to find love. In this third instalment, the relocation experts focused on those individuals looking for new business opportunities abroad, whether that’s opening a new restaurant, launching a tech startup or expanding an import/export business into new markets. The result is a ranking of the best cities for entrepreneurs, aiming to inform those looking to embark on an exciting new business venture, but also to highlight those cities that have successfully implemented business-minded legislation to help foster innovation.

The top three cities are:

  1. San Francisco is the best city to launch a tech startup, with a flourishing tech ecosystem, large access to talent and venture capital. London and New York take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
  2. Lisbon is the best city to open a restaurant, with affordable real estate and an extensive hospitality ecosystem. Barcelona and Istanbul take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
  3. Singapore is the best city to start an import/export business with a well-established logistics ecosystem and excellent access to markets. Shanghai and Amsterdam take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

How the study was conducted:

To begin the study, 75 cities from around the globe which are renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit, business opportunities and economic growth were chosen. Then, as different industries have varying needs in terms of infrastructure, legislation and funding, we decided to focus on three specific common industries which are popular with expat entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in a new country; Restaurants, Tech/Digital Ventures and Import/Export.

The data relating to restaurants, in particular, gives an indication of the possibilities of starting a hospitality-based endeavour in a new city by revealing property affordability, the availability of qualified hospitality labour such as waiting staff and the quality of the market, both in terms of its strength and local and visitor affluence. These figures therefore offer insight into the potential of starting a similar brick-and-mortar store, or other hospitality or tourism venture.

Tech/Digital ventures rely not only on the ecosystem and available talent, but the investment opportunities, so the data for this industry also gives an insight into the feasibility for launching any internet-based startup looking for venture capital. Import/export businesses rely greatly on steady logistics infrastructures, as well as location in terms of accessibility, and the strength of international trade agreements, so any company involved with global commerce will benefit from these dataset insights.

Firstly, the entrepreneur ecosystem in each city was analysed, looking into start-up costs, opportunities for female founders and the typical timeframe for setting up a new business. Next, the elements that are needed to launch each type of business was assessed, including the cost of real estate and hospitality ecosystem to open a new restaurant, venture capital and main industries for growth in tech/digital ventures and logistics costs and ecosystem for import/export businesses.

To view the results and full methodology of the study, please visit:


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